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5 Key Steps of the Packaging Design Process

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Choosing a packaging design that makes your product stand out is important for your company's brand and representation. Many marketers may overlook packaging design because of the common idea that consumers only care about what's in the box. However, keeping up with the demands of consumers with durable and memorable packaging can help your business in numerous ways. 

packaging design can be different for each industry

Today, industrial packaging can be modernized to keep up with the security and protection of goods — and you can customize it to give it a unique spin. Below, you'll find the five steps for packaging design. Continue reading for key tips to ensure your packaging is as effective as possible.

1. Conceptualization

The design of your packing can be based on your consumers' wants and needs. All industries vary in their product's function and shipping requirements. By creating eye-catching packaging that also serves a purpose, you can ensure your packaging is memorable and useful.

Consider the following questions as you work through the conceptualization phase and determine how to package your products:

  • What makes your product stand out from the competition? A company's packaging should be unique, highlighting exactly what sets its products apart from other items on the shelf.
  • How would like to see your company grow? Getting to know your customers is key to expanding your supply chain. Looking at current trends to inform you of future ones can ensure your packaging always resonates with your audience, new and old.
  • How is your product helping consumers? Consider what the customer gets out of it and what the item achieves when it's being used. These benefits can be objective or subjective. By identifying your product's purpose, you can design accurate packaging.

2. Design

Of course, packaging design can be different for each industry. For example, cosmetic companies will use small, compact boxes to house their products. On the other hand, retail floor displays will utilize a larger area to showcase a brand or image that represents their product. When it comes to design, you'll want to keep the following points in mind:

  • Know your customer: Go over data you already have available from long-term customers, comparing past and present trends to see what kinds of packaging your audience prefers. It also helps to browse reviews, social media and other feedback channels to note what your customers like and don't like. Always aim to be in tune with your customers' needs.
  • Understand the function of your product: A product's packaging can reflect its function. If you sell nail polish, you may want to use simple, straightforward packaging that allows customers to see the bottle's color. This point may seem obvious, but keeping your product's use in mind will help you create the best packaging.
  • Consider shape: Using a large, bulky box for a small product is usually wasteful and ineffective. Remember your product's unique size and shape as you design its packaging.
  • Keep it simple: Ensure the positioning of the product's title and description is easy to read. Place emphasis on the white space available so the box's label is easy to locate. If you have many messages you want to convey about your product, choose your words carefully to make the most significant impact.
  • Test it for effectiveness: Tests are a staple of product design. Some companies will place their products in mock retail environments to see what aspects of their packaging are most effective. It may help to experiment with a few design ideas, so you can get feedback on them and move forward with the best parts of each.
  • Compare it to your competitors for inspiration: What do you notice about your competitors' packaging? Review the materials, the dependability of the container and the overall aesthetic. If your competition seems to be trending one way regarding packaging, you may want to take a more unique route to stand out.

3. Revisions

If your packaging design proves to be ineffective, you may want to explore more creative opportunities. The design process takes time, especially when you want to make a lasting impression on consumers. If you're stuck, think about who the product is for and why the product exists in the first place.

design based on wants and needs

Have a team meeting to clarify what did and didn't go well with the product. This is an opportune time to explain what you want and readdress project goals. Ensure your team has room to make modifications to the design and accept constructive feedback from departments. Open up the room for discussion about missing components and key improvements.

Additionally, set some boundaries to save time with revisions. Outline how many rounds of revisions are realistic so you can meet your rollout deadlines. Be prepared to accept feedback and requests that may not be successful after the first revision, tracking your revisions as you go. Once you've verified the changes, keep checking in to see what's doing well.

If you're conducting mock product placements during the revision phase, compare your responses to the ones you recorded from the initial product testing phase. Upon review, you may start to see improvements in responses based on the new packaging prototype.

4. Manufacturing

During a consultation with your packaging supplier, they'll offer design proofs that show what your design will look like. Using quality printing ensures your packaging design looks exactly as your design team intended. The packaging company will be able to print your product using commercial calibration.

There are two major types of commercial printing:

  1. Offset printing: With offset printing, your product template will be created within a scope of four colors and run through an industrial printer. This method is appropriate for mass-producing products over 1,000 pieces.
  2. Digital printing: This type of printing is appropriate for smaller businesses looking to run their design template with a short turnaround time.

The supplier will be able to plan logistics with your team to prevent overspending on manufacturing costs. These logistics are important because they allow you to lower your spending and environmental impact.

many marketers overlook packaging

5. Market Launch

After you launch your product, analyze how well the product is performing over time. Document your product's metrics carefully so that can refer back to them when you have another product launch. Be sure to check out social media, review sites and your own questionnaires to see what customers are saying about your new item. It also helps to hold a meeting a few months after the launch to touch on how everything went.

Contact QPSI for Expert Retail Packaging Design

At QPSI, we know how to design and package products, ensuring our clients receive the most effective packaging options for their unique needs. QPSI's packaging options include clip strips, power-wings, PDQs, pallet displays, permanent displays, gravity feeds, floor stands and more. Feel free to browse our selection of retail packaging solutions to get a better idea of our extensive product array.

Contact us today to learn more and begin the packaging design process.

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